Listening Is Just The Start

Jeff Howe writes: idea jams “allow people to discover the fringe question (or idea, or solution), then tweak it, discuss it and bring the community’s attention to it.”

“Idea management is really a three-part process,” says Bob Pearson, who as Dell’s former chief of communities and conversation rode heard on IdeaStorm. “The first is listening. That’s obvious.” The second part, Pearson says, was integration, “actually disseminating the best ideas throughout our organization. We had engineers studying IdeaStorm posts and debating how they could be implemented.”

The last part is the trickiest and most important: “It involves not just enacting the ideas, but going back into your community and telling them what you’ve done.” Starbucks, which maintains its own version of IdeaStorm, employs 48 full-time moderators whose only job is to engage the online community. In other words, Starbucks is investing the vast share of its resources in the second and third parts of the idea management cycle.

Listen, evolve, report. Sounds like good advice to me.

I’m a carnie huckster, you know it and I know it, but that’s OK

The title is a quote from Seth Stevenson piece on pitchman Vince Offer, where he explains that Vince’s “smooth-talking condescension” is the most appropriate sales tactic in today’s cynical world. “Jaded consumers expect to get snowed and almost distrust the very pretense of trustworthiness.” The Rap Chop remix of Vince’s Slap Chop actually ran […] » about 100 words

Rock Out With A Cardboard Record Player

The physical, analog nature of vinyl has long appealed to the DIY crowd. This cardboard record player capitalizes on that to create a direct mail marketing campaign that people appear to actually enjoy receiving. From the description at Agency News: Grey Vancouver created a portable record player from corrugated cardboard that folds into an envelope. […] » about 200 words

Jeeves Is Back! Does Your Organization Need Its Own Avatar/Personality?

If you remember, you probably remember Jeeves. Now he’s back on the UK site. It turns out that people liked the old chap, and in this age of social media, it’s probably prudent to have a corporate avatar (it looks a lot better on Facebook, anyway). There’s more about the resurrection at Search Engine […] » about 100 words

OSS Saves Marketing Costs, Protects Business

VA Linux founder Larry Augustin on OSS

In Augustin’s view open source development became a necessity in the 1990s when the cost of marketing a program came to exceed the cost of creating it. “My favorite is In 1995 they spent under $10 million in R&D and over $100 million in sales and marketing. That doesn’t work.”

“Open source enables people to reach all those customers. It’s a distribution model. The people who create great software can now reach the rest of the world.”

Businesses get the most protection from the GPL, he insisted. “They get protection from competition.” The license’s insistence on reciprocity means no one can take the code you wrote, tweak it, then compete with you.

Business Marketing Babble Makes Me Laugh

Found on Jeff Nolan’s blog:

Competitive Intelligence: “a large fuzzy animal may be a bear.”

Marketing: “SAP can help you understand your fuzzy animals. With over 30 years in the fuzzy animal industry, we know if you are looking at a bear, a guy in a coat, or a large dog.”

Communications: “In today’s world of increasing challenges, It’s obvious fuzzy animals are what our customers care about.”

Sales: “Who cares what it is. Let’s kill it and eat it.”

Wyoming Libraries Marketing Campaign

| I have mixed feelings about the value of advertising -- it's worth pointing out that <a href="">according to John Battelle</a>, Google never ran an ad anywhere prior to going public -- but I still enjoy seeing things like this <a href="">Wyoming Libraries campaign</a>. <a href="">Jill Stover quotes</a> Wyoming Libraries' Tina Lackey with the news that “Wyoming's libraries are as expansive as the state, and as close as down the street.” I'm just hoping that A, the horse is real; and B, they auction it off. See, I have these silly ideas about doing a cross-country road trip with it. » about 100 words